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Understanding “Standard of Care” in OK Medical Malpractice Cases

When it comes to medical malpractice litigation, the term “standard of care” is a legal yardstick used to determine responsibility on the part of a healthcare provider for adverse medical outcomes in patients. The standard plays a critical role in establishing medical malpractice in Oklahoma and throughout the United States. If you have suffered unreasonable …

When it comes to medical malpractice litigation, the term “standard of care” is a legal yardstick used to determine responsibility on the part of a healthcare provider for adverse medical outcomes in patients. The standard plays a critical role in establishing medical malpractice in Oklahoma and throughout the United States. If you have suffered unreasonable harm as a result of a medical mistake in Oklahoma, don’t hesitate to protect your legal rights; consult our knowledgeable attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center to explore your possible compensation options. Our law firm is located in Oklahoma City, and our lawyers have experience helping victims of medical malpractice throughout Oklahoma.

“Standard of Care” Defined

A broad definition of “standard of care” – and the one cited by many court decisions and statutes – is “the average degree of skill, care and diligence exercised by members of the same profession, practicing in the same or similar locality in light of the present state of medical and surgical science.” In other words, a standard of care reflects the practices and precautions implemented by hospitals and doctors that most members of the local medical community would deem a normal, reasonable and responsible level of medical care. Because the medical standard varies from place to place, there are some differences in the exact legal definition between states.

Medical Malpractice in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Supreme Court has clarified the meaning of standard of care, indicating that the main issue in medical malpractice cases is not whether the doctor made an error, but whether he or she exercised “ordinary care” in treating the patient. Under Oklahoma law, a medical provider cannot be held responsible for a medical mistake unless the error is “so gross that it makes the professional conduct substandard.” There are a number of other factors that influence the interpretation of “standard of care” in Oklahoma, including:

  • The testimony of expert witnesses
  • The standard across the state
  • Whether or not the act in question is practiced by a “respectable minority of physicians” in the same field

Our Experienced Lawyers Can Help

The consequences associated with a medical error can be devastating for the victim, especially in those cases involving an amputation error, a birth injury, a misdiagnosis or wrongful death. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a serious medical mistake in Oklahoma, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses and losses. Contact our experienced attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center today to discuss your legal options.

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